Charles Spruce, Andrew Miller, Elizabeth Clay, Theft > shoplifting, Theft > receiving, 6th May 1761.

Reference Number: t17610506-5
Offences: Theft > shoplifting; Theft > receiving
Verdicts: Guilty; Guilty
Punishments: Death; Transportation

159, 160, 161. (M.) Charles Spruce , was indicted for stealing 2 linnen shirts, value 20 s. 12 yards of drab-coloured cambler, value 10 s. 15 yards of silk, called alamode, value 40 s. 4 yards of gray coloured stuff, called tammy, value 15 s. 2 pieces of board, value 1 d. 2 wooden rollers, value 1 d. 2 yards of brown linnen, called hessians, value 12 d. 2 pair of cotton hose, value 12 d. 70 yards of blossom coloured corded tabby silk, value 3 l. 12 yards of green silk, called ducape, value 3 l. 12 yards of blue silk, called ducape, value 3 l. 10 yards of bl ue sattin, value 3 l. 10 s. 13 yards of striped silk, called lutestring, value 3 l. 10 s. 13 yards of white damask silk, value 5 l. 10 s. 9 yards of pink coloured persian silk, value 17 s. 30 yards of blue persian silk, value 50 s. 30 yards of gray persian silk, value 50 s. 71 yards of ruby coloured persian silk, value 6 l. 10 s. 25 yards of green tabby silk, value 10 l. 13 yards of plain coloured tabby silk, value 5 l. 8 s. 36 yards of yellow silk, called tammy, value 9 l. 9 yards of white sattin, value 50 s. 30 yards and 3 quarters of black velvet, value 3 l. 15 s. 16 yards of blue silk, called corded tabby, value 7 l. 4 s. 70 yards of pink coloured sattin, value 3 l. 10 s. 46 yards of blue silk, call'd tobine, value 18 l. 30 yards of blue silk, called ducape, value 8 l. 10 s. 20 yards of blue tabby silk, value 6 l. 8 yards of black pelong sattin, value 37 s. 70 yards of pink coloured tabby silk, value 42 s. 10 yards of green silk pelong, value 15 s. 6 yards of white stuff, called tammy, value 3 s. 10 yards of camblet, value 9 s. 1 yard of black sattin, value 3 s. 2 yards of black pelong sattin, value 6 s. a yards of camblet, value 8 s. the goods of Archdale Rooke , privately, in the shop of the said Archdale ; and Andrew Miller and Elizabeth Clay , spinster , for receiving part of the said goods, well knowing them to have been stolen , April 14 . ++.

Archdale Rooke. I lost all the goods mentioned in the indictment. The prisoner Spruce lived with me as a livery servant about a year and three quarters. He used to open and shut up the shop.

Q. Were all these goods in the shop at the time he lived with you?

Rooke. They were.

Q. When did you lose them?

Rooke. I lost some about last Christmas was a twelve-month, and the rest before he went from me. The latter part of last summer he had hired a coach for a day, and he went down to Greenwich; it cost him 8 s. I thought he could not come honestly by the money, so I turned him away. I found him in cloaths, but he had no wages from me, but he often had a shilling given him, and he had some perquisites in the shop. I had missed, while he was with me last summer, a quantity of corded tabby, a piece of green, and a piece of blue ducape, 10 or 11 yards of blue sattin, 13 yards of striped lutestring, and 13 yards of white damask. About 9 or 10 weeks ago Mrs. Ward, a neighbour of mine, came and begged I would take him again. I had hired a servant that I liked, and I did not chuse to turn him away to take Charles again. After that this servant did not please me, I turned him away and took Charles again a second time. On the 14th of April last my sister discovered one of my ruffled shirts on his back, and informed me of it; and, the evening before I had missed a piece of alamode silk that was to have been sent to Whitechaple, then I told him I thought he had taken it; he said any other of my servants might take it as well as he; and, that he knew nothing of it. I told him I would go to Mr. Fielding and get a warrant; he said, very well, as I thought proper. I went and got a warrant and took him up. When I had the constable in the shop, I told him I missed several things, and desired he would confess if he had taken any thing, he confessed he had taken the alamode silk. When we came before Mr. Fielding I asked him if he had any thing else, he said there were one or two more things. He had taken a lodging on the back of my house the week before. Mr. Fielding granted me a warrant to search the lodging, and another to search the prisoner Clay's mother's lodging. They were going to be married. I found the piece of alamode silk in his lodgings, in a mahogony chest of drawers; a piece of gray stuff, a piece of drab coloured camblet, 2 sattin boards, and 2 rollers that we roll silk upon, a remnant of hessian brown linnen, 2 pair of cotton stockings, a black sattin hat that he said Clay had cut off from a piece of black sattin that was in the drawer. There were a great number of houshold goods which he had bought with money made of my goods. In Clay's lodging I found 2 yards of brown camblet, all these my property. Mrs. Ward came to me at Mr. Fielding's, and told me she had stopped a piece of black velvet, a piece of blue, a piece of black, and a piece of pink coloured silk, which Miller brought. I lost 71 yards of ruby persian, and found 61 yards of it at Mr. Hall's, a pawnbroker, I found a piece of green tabby at Mrs. Ann Brown 's. I lost 35 yards, Mrs. Brown had sold some of it.

Q. How much did you find there?

Rooke. I believe I found 12 or 13 yards there, and I found 13 yards of pink tabby, which Mrs. Brown had sold to Mr. Wigdon. I found 36 yards of yellow ducape at Mrs. Ward's. She is a mercer, and deals in silk. I found 9 yards of sattin, and about 4 yards of black velvet, and 16 or 17 yards of blue corded tabby, and a quantity of pink sattin; I don't know the exact quantity. The next that I found was at Mr. Brook's, a pawnbroker, he came and shewed me a piece of silk, about 46 yards, my property, it was blue and white tobine. Other silks I found at Mark David's, a jew.

Q. Is he a pawnbroker.

Rooke. No, he is not. I went there after they had made their confessions. He told me he had sold those goods to Mary Huntington , in Broad St. Giles's. The jew said he had bought them of my servant. I found a quantity of green ducape, and a quantity of green sattin, pawned at Mr. Ealing's, a pawnbroker; at Mr. Fryer's, a pawnbroker, I found a quantity of green stuff, a quantity of white stuff, some drab camblet, a quantity of black sattin. All those pieces found at those places are mine, I saw them at Mr. Fielding's, and swore to them as my property.

Q. How do you charge Miller?

Rooke. It will be proved he brought them to the people. Spruce confessed before Mr. Fielding to the taking almost all of them. After I had charged him with taking them all, he recollected as far as he could of them, and owned to the taking the greatest part of the things mentioned in the indictment, and a great many more that I cannot find, he then discovered that Miller was concerned in the affair; and he has owned the same to me several times since.

Elizabeth Rooke . I am sister to the prosecutor. I saw Spruce with a russled shirt on on a Sunday, the property of my brother, I charged him with it, he owned it was my brother's. On the Tuesday morning I missed another, I charged him with it, he owned it, and said he would bring it to me if I would not tell my brother.

Q. What Tuesday was this?

E. Rooke. This was Tuesday the 14th of April; he said he took them both.

Daniel Hall. I am a pawnbroker. [He produced

a quantity of ruby coloured persian silk.] I know nothing of taking it in, my servant is here, he can give an account of that.

John Chamberlain . I am servant to Mr. Hall, I had this ruby coloured Persian of Andrew Miller , one of the prisoners at the bar.

Prosecutor. This is my property.

Q. to Chamberlain. What did you lend Miller upon it?

Chamberlain. I lent him two guineas and a half upon it.

Miller. I had two guineas upon it of him.

Q. to Prosecutor. Are the goods worth the money, as laid in the indictment?

Prosecutor. They are worth more than what is laid there.

Ann Brown . I had a piece of brown silk of Miller, [ Producing it.]

Q. What are you?

A. Brown. I am a mantuamaker.

Prosecutor. This is my property.

Ann Brown . I had a piece of ruby coloured tobine also of him, [Producing it.]

Prosecutor. This also is mine, there was 46 yards of it.

A. Brown. I let Mr. Wigdon have about 13 yards of the ruby coloured tobine; I had some blew sattin of Miller, but that I have disposed of.

Q. Do you know the prisoner Spruce.

A. Brown. No, I do not; Miller did not tell me whose goods they were, but said, he had them to dispose of. I had also of him a piece of green silk, which a gentlewoman had, that is gone to Portsmouth, to see her husband; and when she returns, I will endeavour to get it for the prosecutor.

Elizabeth Hudson . Andrew Miller came to my house, and asked me if I wanted a bit of white damask, and brought a bit with him.

Q. What are you?

E. Hudson. I am a publican (Miller belongs to a club at our house, and has two or three years,) there was about a dozen yards of it; I bought it of him, and sold it again, and do not know to whom; the man keeps a vessel, and lives towards Yarmouth.

Q. What did you give him for the damask?

E. Hudson. I gave him what he asked, which was six shillings a yard.

Hannah Ward . I keep a shop in the Strand, and another on the back of St. Clement's. When I went to my shop in the Strand, I found three pieces in a chair that I sit in, in my parlour, a blue, pink, and a black piece, and Miller stood by the chair. I said, friend, these are yours, are they? He said, madam, I am a dealer, and lived in Vinegar yard some time ago, and they are very honestly come by; they are a person's silks that wants money. I asked him what he asked a yard for them, (the black is uncut velvet) he asked for the blue silk 4 s. a yard. I said, what do you ask for the uncut velvet? he said 8 s. I said, what for the pink? he said, seven and six pence. I said, friend, you look like a very honest man, but I cannot tell every body by their looks; pray tell me how you came by these silks. He said, very honestly. I stopped them, and advertised them, here is the paper they are advertised in ( Producing a daily paper.) He left the goods, and went away, and came with two men, and demanded the goods. I would not let him have them, and then he served my husband with a copy of a writ. I went to Justice Fielding, Mr. Rooke was there. I desired him to go to my house, and look at the goods, there was Charles Spruce upon examination. I said to him, pray did you steal such goods from your master. Mr. Rooke went to see the goods, and when he returned, he said, they were his property.

Q. Was you before the justice when Miller was examined?

H. Ward. I was; I think he owned there, that he had the goods of Spruce. I heard Spruce own before the justice, that he took them, and Miller owned he took the yellow silk, that my servant bought of him; there was 36 yards of it, and also 11 yards of white sattin, which Miller owned too.

Q. What is your shop-woman's name?

H. Ward. Her name is Mary Kinnersly .

Mary Kinnersly . I am shop-woman to Mrs. Ward, Miller came with a woman, with a piece of yellow silk to sell, ( Producing it.)

Prosecutor. This is my property, which I lost out of my shop.

M. Kinnersely. He also brought this piece of white sattin, ( Producing it.)

Prosecutor. This also is mine.

M. Kinnersly. The woman said, she was recommended by one Mrs. Hanks, and she had a piece of silk to sell, that she thought would suit Mrs. Ward. I said, she was not at home, but if I liked it, I would buy it; I bought it of the prisoner Miller.

Q. What did you give a yard for it?

M. Kinnersley. I gave 4 s. a yard for it. I asked him how he came by it, he said, he bought it of a person that wanted money; he said, he had been a dealer, and had lived in

Vinegar-yard. I sent to Mrs Hanks, to know if she recommended the persons that came to me. She sent word to me, she did not know the man, but she did the woman, and would trust her; it was that same day, that he came himself in the afternoon.

Mr. Brooks I am a pawnbroker (He produced a piece of blue and white striped silk.) On the 10th or 11th of April, Miller brought me this piece of silk, and asked me four guineas upon it; I asked him several questions, and suspected he did not come honestly by it, and I stopped it till four in the afternoon. He desired I would let him go, and he could bring a person to his character at that time; then he brought justice Bedwell's son to vouch for him, then I lent him the money he wanted. In two or three days after, I heard Mr. Rooke had been robbed. I went to him, and asked him if he had lost any silk, he said yes. I told him I had a piece of this colour, and who I took it of.

Prosecutor. I told Mr. Brooks, I had lost such a pattern, and described it to him before I saw it.

Brooks. I was before Mr. Fielding, there I saw Miller, I swore to him, as the person that brought the silk to me, and related the circumstances that I have just mentioned.

Q. Was he asked how he came by it?

Brooks. He was; but he did not assign any reason how he came by it; he only said, he pledg'd it with me.

John Fryer . (He produced some brown camblet, and some black sattin,) those I had of the prisoner Clay, at the bar.

Q. What are you?

Fryer. I am a pawnbroker, I lent her 6 s. upon the 11 yards of camblet, and three shillings upon the other.

Prosecutor. Those are my property. I lost them out of my shop; there was a large quantity of the sattin when I lost it, and this camblet has been made I believe 20 years.

James Ealing . I am a pawnbroker. On the ninth of April, I took in a piece of black sattin of Spruce, ( Producing a piece.)

Q. What did you lend him upon it?

Ealing. I lent him five shillings upon it.

Q. Did you know him before?

Ealing. He had used my shop with some trifling things before.

Prosecutor. It was by Spruce's own confession, that we found out this piece of sattin.

Ealing. I had also two pieces of green silk, a piece of ducape, and a piece of lutestring of Andrew Miller , and I had about four yards of sattin, of Elizabeth Clay . When I came before Justice Fielding, there were all the three prisoners there. The Justice asked me, if I knew that man (Miller.) I said yes, I said, he was the man that brought the two pieces of silk to me.

Q. What did Miller say, how he came by it?

Ealing. He said of that nothing. I charged Spruce with bringing me a piece of sattin a little time before, he owned that he did bring it.

Q. Did Spruce own where he had it?

Ealing. No, he did not.

Q. to Prosecutor. When you saw the three prisoners at the bar before the Justice, whether Miller or Clay said where they had any of these goods, or whether they owned they had them of Spruce?

Prosecutor. I did not hear them own that.

Q. to Prosecutor. Did you hear the prisoner Spruce say in their hearing, that they had the goods of him?

Prosecutor. I heard him say that, but I do not recollect either of them was by at the time

Marks David. (I am a Jew) the prisoner Miller brought two pieces of blue silk, a piece of black, and a piece of pink colour to me, [ Producing them,] I bought them of him.

Prosecutor. These are my property.

Q. to David. What are you?

David. I am a taylor.

Q. Do you make cloaths for men or women?

David. For men.

Q. How came you to deal in such goods?

David. I make waistcoats generally of this sort of goods.

Q. What account did he give, when he came to you?

David. A very worthy man, a neighbour of mine, brought him to me.

Q. What is that man's name?

David. His name is Henry Benjamin .

Q. What did you give Miller for them?

David. I gave four shillings a yard for all of them, only one piece I gave three shillings and six-pence for.

Q. to Prosecutor. What is the value of them?

Prosecutor. One cost me five and ten-pence a yard, the black four shillings and eight-pence; the blue tabby six shillings, and the other eighteen shillings a yard; there are ten yards of that.

Henry Benjamin . I do not know Miller, he came to my house, I had never seen him before; he wanted to sell me some remnants of silk, and I carried him to the last witness, he being a taylor, and it was a thing that I did not deal in.

Spruce's defence.

I have nothing in the world to say more than I have said; my master took the alamode out of my room, and I took it out of his shop.

Miller's defence.

Them silks I had of Charles Spruce , but I never asked him which way he came by them, and he never told me.

Clay's defence.

I never saw these silks they speak of.

Spruce Guilty Death , Miller and Clay Guilty .

[Transportation. See summary.]


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